Chuck’s note: This is a guest post from my friend Tyler Machovina. We have very similar tastes and he recommended this drink to me. The only drink-related thing we disagree on is whether the Negroni or Boulevardier is superior.
To continue on theme of potable bitters for hot summer days I present the Paper Plane: A deliciously dry pre-dinner aperitivo for when it is too hot to contemplate eating. Have one and it will probably have cooled off a bit. Still a bit balmy? Have another, or two. Who needs dinner anyway when there is Campari to be enjoyed?
I had some trouble tracking down a solid history for this drink but it seems it was invented by Sammy J Ross of Milk & Honey and originally calls for Buffalo Trace bourbon. Well, I had already spent $50 on Amaro Nonino on this trip so I decided on the still delicious and sweet Old Grand Dad. Don’t feel bad about buying cheap bourbon! Though Chuck may disagree with the State setting standards, anything labeled as bourbon in the US is held to a very high standard so you’ll probably never find anything too terrible for mixing. Of course, it all depends on the drink—I might not use OGD for an Old Fashioned, but a shaken cocktail with strong flavors like Campari, Nonino, and lemon juice I think the Grand Dad will work just fine.
As a shaken cocktail I recommend making the Paper Plane with a boston shaker and a Hawthorne strainer as those shakers with a built in strainer just make a mess and are a pain to clean. I would also advise double straining to keep the tiny ice shards out of the final drink – this gives a cleaner presentation and a smoother mouth feel.
Add equal parts (3/4 oz for one drink) of lemon juice, Amaro Nonino, Campari, and bourbon into a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for about twenty seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass (or small wine glass). No garnish needed.
It’s possible the original recipe called for Aperol rather than Campari. The history of cocktails can be a bit… hazy. The Aperol variation is a bit sweeter and has a beautiful bright salmon color but lacks the refreshing grapefruit dryness that the Campari brings.
Can’t find Amaro Nonino? This recipe appears to be often misprinted with Ramazzotti rather than Nonino and apparently still yields tasty results.